Ted Klontz (TK) and Ashley Judd (AJ)
TK: About six months or so ago, you called me and you said, ’I’m going to do it.’ And that meant allow The New York Times to use your name specifically.
AJ: Yes. I remember, I told my mom and she said, ’Go get ‘em, honey.’ And then when I spoke with my attorney, of course she had concerns about lawsuits raining down on my head. But she also said, ’Ashley, if you can’t do this, who can?’
TK: I was scared, by the way. I had a bit of a, I think, fatherly protective thing. And I — I wonder if you could tell me where you think that courage came from.
AJ: I think the courage comes from the little girl inside of me and my commitment to doing right by her. You know, I was sexually molested for the first time that I remember when I was seven years old. And, I immediately went and told two adults. They said, ’Oh, he’s a nice old man, that’s not what he meant.’ But that seed in me was planted that I knew when something felt wrong. And, you know, the greatness of this moment is that finally the world was able to hear.
You know, I’m going to go ahead and swear — I don’t give a s**t what it costs me. All I can do is the next good right honest thing and let go of the results.
TK: It’s almost as if you’re concerned about what it costs you not to speak up.
AJ: Yes, and that would be my integrity. And I guess I really believe that in the long term there is a payoff for that.
Harvey in his own way has given us a great gift. His decades of abuse — it was the funeral pyre to what hopefully will have been the old ways.
TK: It, um, you — I remember you telling me.
TK: And I didn’t do anything about it either. And so, uh, right here now I’ll make amends for that. Because I had an opportunity to do something with it too.
AJ: I appreciate the amends, and you’re off the hook. None of us knew what to do. None of us knew what to do.
TK: This thing that you did, by allowing your name to be used, sort of pulled the last little plug out of the dam.
AJ: We’ve just flung the barn doors wide open and the horses have run out. And the joy of the stampede has surprised me. I didn’t know that it would be so joyous.